Remember that scene in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan where Captain Kirk just screams “KHAAAAN” with the intensity of a thousand white hot suns? Well, that’s how a lot of Rockies fans felt about Gerardo Parra last season.
Signed last January to a three-year, $27.5 million contract, Parra had a season to forget in 2016. His -2.8 bWAR was abysmal and unfathomable. He walked just nine times in 381 trips to the plate. He hit just .253 with seven homers and 39 RBI while striking out 73 times. The Rockies were so desperate to find a way to get him in the lineup last season that they even put him at first base, which was a disaster both offensively and defensively.
OK, there’s the bad in a nutshell. However, there are reasons for optimism in 2017. No really, there are.
First, it can’t get much worse for Parra this season. He played just 102 games last season after suffering a high ankle sprain in a collision with Story. It was symbolic of a rough year on the field for the 29-year-old outfielder.
Second, Parra’s career numbers show a strong chance for improvement. He’s a career .274 hitter with a .321 on base percentage and .404 slugging percentage. Those would all be numbers above what Parra did last season.
Parra will also be in a different role this season. Last season, he was expected to come in and carry the load in left field. This season, David Dahl is there and expected to have much of the playing time. Parra’s role will be more of an “off the bench” player, which could provide much less pressure for him to perform than he had last season.
We think Parra versus Dahl will be one of the biggest battles heading into the 2017 season. Read why (as well as check out the other two battles) by clicking here.
He’s also had the offseason to heal from his high ankle sprain, an injury he battled to overcome throughout the rest of the 2016 season.
While it may not be a tremendous improvement, Parra will be better in 2017.